Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gygax Memorial Fund

Tavis Allison has asked me, on the anniversary of Gary Gygax's birth, to draw attention to the existence of the Gygax Memorial Fund, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose goal is the construction of a monument in honor of one of the founding fathers of our shared hobby. The Fund has already been granted parkland in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for this purpose. What remains now is to raise the funds necessary for the monument itself, whose estimated cost is $500,000.

The Gygax Memorial Fund is hosting an exhibit at Gen Con this August 4th-7th to raise awareness of its mission. At the Old School Renaissance Group booth (#1541), Gary's widow, Gail Gygax, will be talking about conversations she had with her husband before his death about how he wanted to be remembered, the resulting vision for the statue, and the goals of the Memorial Fund.

At the booth, the Fund will be taking contributions and offering donor rewards including T-shirts with the Gygax Memorial logo -  Argent, a Bar Azure, Three Lozenges Gules  - and a book called Cheers, Gary, which selects the best of his correspondence with fans at the EN World Q&A threads and whose cover is illustrated by Erol Otus. Editor Paul Hughes will also be at the booth with Gail signing copies of Cheers, Gary and discussing plans for another volume based on the Dragonsfoot Q&A.
This is a very worthwhile cause, so please spread word of it to anyone you know whose lives were positively affected by Gary. He was a giant in whose shadow we all stand.


  1. As I mentioned on Greyhawk Grognard as well the "donate" button on the memorial site does not appear to be working. They are trying to get it fixed. Hopefully the additional attention the memorial site is getting from these posts won't be lost due to the non-functioning button. I know if it wasn't for this blog and Greyhawk Grognard mentioning it I would not have known about the memorial project at all.

    If the statue does get built I hope it heavily incorporates gaming (specifically D&D) into the theme and it's not just a bust of the man. Mr Gygax's gaming legacy is what means something to me, not his visage.

  2. I wrote an article about the statue for Onion A.V. Club a few weeks ago.,58734/

  3. At 500K $ if it's just a bust it would either be:
    a) a humongous bust.
    b) made at least in electrum.

  4. I was thinking the same thing. Unless it's Andy Warhol making it, half a million is a lot of money for a bronze memorial in a park. Something doesn't seem right....

  5. Dude...$500,000? I could have a huge 10 ton boulder shipped to the USA from the Top of Mount Everest and carved into a Giant Stone Gary Gygax head for $100,000.

    Are we talking bronze colossus or anti-paladin taking advantage of a widow?

  6. Something's rotten here. $500K is a ridiculous sum for a project of this nature. I'm guessing Gail will be taking a $350,000 "management fee" off the top. And don't we have better things to do with that amount of money in this economy? Like feed our families? Worthy cause my a$$.

  7. Color me completely ignorant on this topic. Is $500K a ridiculous sum for a monument? Does this include the cost of the land too? I know nothing at all about this, so I'd appreciate any insights anyone who's actually been involved in erecting a monument on public property can provide.

  8. From what I understand, the memorial is going to be bronze, a bust sitting on top of a marble image, and there will also be benches installed. Perhaps even a small pool.

    In central mass, a Korean War Memorial of I think a similar size to the Gygax proposed one costs about 1 million dollars. Here's a picture of that.

    For those thinking that Gail is taking a management fee "off the top", she has worked hard to setup a legitimate 503(c) corporation. That corporation is specifically designed to be a non-profit and thus is under intense scrutiny not to do any of the "shenanegans" dhowarth333 has implied. Gail is not making any money off of this--she simply wants to do this because she thinks this is the best way to honor her husband's creative output over the years. But there are fees to be paid to sculptors, the designers, and some legal and accounting fees that all require payment. It's not as simple as putting a rock in the ground.

  9. "From what I understand, the memorial is going to be bronze, a bust sitting on top of a marble image, and there will also be benches installed. Perhaps even a small pool."

    Sounds nice. But not particularly Gary Gygax. Unless the liquid in the pool does random things to anybody who touches it...

    A Gary Gygax memorial shouldn't have benches. It should have a large table with two chairs at three of the sides and one chair at the forth.

    And it should include sculptures of the five Platonic solids.